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Game On: “Socialism is About Power, not Equality,” Space Force, and Battle for Manufactured Housing Independence

February 21st, 2019 Comments off

 

GameOnSocialsmIsAboutPowerNotEqualitySpaceForceBattleForManufacturedHousingIndependenceDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The manufactured housing industry has to a significant degree been conquered. Who will be the leaders and the voices that liberate our industry, it’s millions of home owners, and the millions more who could benefit from manufactured home living?  

 

That’s a tough but pertinent question, as the battle for 2020 is well underway.

There are capital, communications, and legal battles ahead for the manufactured home industry.

And the industry’s professionals and home owners must realize that the potential voting block is one worth fighting for by political rivals. 

On the left, there are figures like House Financial Services Committed Chair Maxine Waters. She’s on record opposing several business practices of Clayton Homes and their affiliated lenders. There are reports in mainstream media about her call to both the Department of Justice and HUD to investigate Clayton and their lenders. 

Also on the left, is Senator Elizabeth Warren. She laid out a legal case for using existing laws to break up various monopolistic forces.  MHProNews and MHLivingNews has covered those events as hopeful opportunities, while critiquing other political positions held by those same Democratic lawmakers.

Then, there’s Democrat turned Republican, President Donald J. Trump. Some call him a populist. His policies are arguably a blend of positions held by leaders of both major parties. That’s why he was and is battled from within the ranks of the GOP, not just the Democratic political machine. 

Each side of the political aisle has points of attraction, and ideally affordable quality living is a non-partisan issue.

Several Democratic leaders, including 2020 presidential hopefuls, have publicly supported the Green New Deal.  It’s come under fire from with the ranks of Democrats, and from Republicans, but does have support too.

There are several Democratic leaders who routinely call on taxing the rich. Senator Warren is pushing for a wealth tax. We would question the constitutionality of some of those proposals. But is there a different path? Is there a lawful way to bring forces on the left and right together for the sake of the country, wealth-building affordable housing, and manufactured homes role in that emerging vision? 

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Socialism is about power, not equality

A crowd of Venezuelan Americans stood before President Donald J. Trump in Miami yesterday, cheering as he put America squarely on the side of those fighting for freedom. “We’re here to proclaim a new day is coming in Latin America,” he said. “In Venezuela and across the western hemisphere, socialism is dying and liberty, prosperity, and democracy are being reborn.”

His message to Nicolas Maduro: “Let your people go.”

American leadership is making the difference. The United States and more than 50 countries across the world have recognized the rightful government of Venezuela. “Within 30 minutes, the United States was proud to be the first nation in the world to recognize President [Juan] Guaido” as the country’s interim leader, President Trump said.

Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua offer a lesson to the world: Socialism always promises unity but delivers division and hatred. It promises a better future—and inevitably returns to the darkest chapters of the past. Not long ago, Venezuela was the richest country in South America. Today, after its tyrannical government nationalized industries and took over private business, nearly 90 percent of Venezuelans live in poverty.

Americans know this history well, having witnessed socialism destroy countries throughout the 20th century. Nearly three-fifths of Americans have an unfavorable view of socialism; a majority have a favorable view of capitalism. Support for far-left schemes such as Medicare-for-All has plummeted as voters learn more about what’s in it. The extremist “Green New Deal” is beginning to suffer the same fate.

“We know that socialism is not about justice. It’s not about equality; it’s not about lifting up the poor,” President Trump said yesterday. “Socialism is about one thing only: power for the ruling class. And the more power they get, the more they crave . . . All of us here today know that there is nothing less democratic than socialism.”

Watch: “The United States of America is standing right by their side.” 

Worth sharing: “We are born free, and we will stay free—now and forever.”

The Space Force is here

President Trump signed Space Policy Directive-4 this afternoon, marking a bold step toward American space dominance by setting in motion the process of creating a U.S. Space Force as the sixth branch of our Armed Forces.

The Directive calls on the Secretary of Defense to develop a legislative proposal for the Space Force, embodying President Trump’s vision for keeping Americans safe:

•          Strengthen America’s ability to compete—and win—in an increasingly contested domain

•          Organize, train, and equip our space warfighters with next-generation capabilities

•          Maximize successful warfighting capability while minimizing bureaucracy

Peace through strength has been President Trump’s foreign policy since day one, and this newest frontier is no exception. The United States is the best in space, and our adversaries know it. They want to restrict our access there to undermine our strategic advantage. With the U.S. Space Force up and running, that won’t happen.

Get the facts: America’s destiny in space is secure.

Watch: President Trump signs the Space Force directive

— End of White House Release —

Democrats are laying out their vision for the nation in the run-up to 2020.  One of those popular visions is linked further below.

President Donald J. Trump is laying out his vision, via White House statements like the one above.

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The comment above was said with respect to another recent topic, but relates to this issue too.

Editorially, MHProNews has noted previously that there are some positions that Democrats hold – on issues like antitrust enforcement, or possible reforms of the GSEs – that could be useful for manufactured housing.

At the same time, President Trump’s Administration has rolled back more regulations than any other president’s administration in modern times.  Some of those rollbacks have proven useful for the manufactured housing industry.  The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has generated numerous actual and potential boosts to manufactured housing and factory-builders.

So, there will be a tug-of-war, as in every election cycle, between the various claims and track records of the two major parties.  Plus, there will be possible independent runs for the White House, like the one postured by Starbucks founder, billionaire, and Democrat Howard Schultz.

Track records – actual results – plus the prudence of the platforms should guide the industry’s pros in their support and votes. That’s this morning’s “News through the lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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UPDATE: OMHA Fires Back in Manufactured Housing Commission Battle

April 4th, 2017 Comments off
UPDATEOMHAFiresBackinMHCommissionBattlecreditOfficialPhotosOMHAOMHCEPADigitalImagingReporter-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credits: Official Photos, OMHA, OMHC, Digital Imaging Reports, Ohio EPA.

In a story that the Daily Business News originally covered here, the battle between the office of Ohio Governor John Kasich and the Ohio Manufactured Housing Commission (OMHC) has heated up yet again.

And, the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association (OMHA) is firing back.

According to the Dayton Daily News, Governor Kasich is calling for the OMHC to be disbanded, and its responsibilities delegated to the Ohio Department of Commerce. The call is part of the governor’s budget proposal pending before the Ohio General Assembly.

At the core of the campaign against the Commission are the claims from Ohio fire and environmental officials who say the board doesn’t do enough to prevent manufactured home fires and ensure clean drinking water in the MH communities.

But industry professionals, including OMHA Executive Director Tim Williams, are backed with facts, and say that there’s more to the story.

The administration is spreading false information and misleading information because the commission is pushing back against Kasich’s proposal,” said Williams.

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Tim Williams, OMHA Executive Director.

As Daily Business News readers are already aware, we have pointed out the facts versus myths surrounding manufactured homes and fires, noting that homes built under post-1976 federal regulations have the same rates in this area as traditional homes, and Williams pointed to similar data.

Local or state fire officials have no authority to inspect or educate or require different fire codes for manufactured homes,” said Williams.

Association of Manufactured Home Residents in Ohio President Frank Pojman says that in many cases, manufactured homes are actually safer.

When these houses are built, they are inspected at the factory,” said Pojman.

When they leave the factory, it has a tag that says it meets federal safety standards. You don’t get that in a stick built home.”

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Credit: Stoveguard, MHLivingNews.

For one industry professional, who is also involved with the commission, the need for it is obvious.

I believe wholeheartedly, whether I sit on the commission or not, it’s one of the best things that’s happened to the manufactured home community in Ohio,” said Evan Atkinson, general manager of Clayton Homes in Frazeyburg and a commissioner on the board.

Since the commission was created, the number of complaints about mobile home installation has plummeted from hundreds to a number you can count on one hand. What’s proposed now is to fragment it and stick it back out into deep bureaucracy.”

Atkinson says that the commission currently requires inspection of every single home installed in Ohio, and points out that it’s a commitment the Department of Commerce has not made.

I believe there’s a probably a good likeliness that homes may not be installed as well as they are currently being installed,” said Atkinson. He also noted that after establishing new rules for licensing and inspections, the commission has heard one complaint in the last three years, as opposed to the more than 500 complaints every year from consumers about mobile home installation before the commission was created in response to federal rules in 2003.

I think the Manufactured Homes Commission has proven they do the right thing by consumers in Ohio, and that’s very much proven by the number of dispute resolution cases there used to be and the number of dispute resolution cases today,” said Atkinson.

 

From Fire to Water

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Credit: OMHA.

In addition to the onslaught from Ohio fire officials, the Ohio EPA told the Dayton Daily News that its efforts to “force Ohio mobile home parks [sic] to provide their residents safe drinking water have been slowed by inaction on the part of the commission.”

In a statement, the Ohio EPA says that it shares oversight with OMHC over the state’s 250 manufactured home communities that operate their own water systems.

This includes Pineview Estates in Miamisburg, where about 400 residents routinely lost running water; and Catalpa Grove Mobile Home Park in Dayton, where the owner failed to test the system for contaminants such as lead, copper and bacteria,” the EPA said in the statement.

In both cases, the Manufactured Homes Commission denied any appreciable assistance to the Ohio EPA in taking action on the park’s [sic] license, instead forcing the EPA to pursue the issue through lengthy court battles. The manufactured homes commission rarely – if ever – bothers to use its full regulatory authority to enforce safe water rules.”

According to OMHC director Janet Williams dealing with the EPA caused more confusion than progress.

We have never had clear authority to take action against a mobile home park [sic] owner’s license for water quality issues since we began licensing mobile home parks [sic] in December 2012,” said Williams.

We want to work with them in the process of whatever legal avenue we have to help them enforce the water rules they have in manufactured home parks [sic].”

Strong words from the Ohio EPA came as a surprise to Tim Williams.

The EPA showed little interest in increasing oversight of manufactured home communities in the past.”

Jim Demitrus, who was on the commission board from 2006 through 2015, pointed out that pulling a manufactured home community’s license over water issues would lead to serious and potentially severe consequences for residents.

If they pull the license, everybody in that community has to move out,” said Demitrus.

I would like to see somebody in state government do that. Pull the license, and you have to move 100 families.”

The Daily Business News will continue to follow this story closely and provide updates. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Town Battle for Modular Inclusion

March 22nd, 2017 Comments off
LostModularJobsSettoReturncreditCoastlineHomes-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

An unrelated Coastline Modular Home. Credit: Coastline Homes.

In the town of Independence, Louisiana, an intense battle has been brewing around allowing modular homes within town limits.

According to The Daily Star, Independence Mayor Angelo Mannino asked the town board last month to consider allowing modular, saying many young couples have asked to live in the homes in town.

And residents opposed to the idea were quick to give their opinion.

Resident and former council member Dale Brouilette put together a presentation for the council, saying that he does not consider modular and manufactured homes the same thing.

Years ago, about 1980, a mobile home weighed about 36,000 pounds. A modular home the same size weighed about 80,000,” said Brouilette.

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Dale Brouilette speaks to the town council regarding modular homes. Credit: The Daily Star.

Tangipahoa Tax Assessor Junior Matheu and two real state agents told me that the addition of a modular home might actually increase property values in some parts of town, but areas with $200,000- $350,000 homes would be negatively impacted.

Brouilette’s research showed that a 1,200 square-foot modular home costs $80,000, which comes out to $62.60 per square foot, while a manufactured home with 1,800 square feet would cost $145,000, which is $80.56 per square foot.

Now you can buy three-fourths of the homes in Independence for $145,000, said Brouilette, who pointed out an example of what a bank would require to finance the modular homes.

The bank requires these homes must be immobilized on a slab and the property must be owned by the person buying the home. The bank is willing to finance only 75 percent if the home is new,” said Brouilette.

The bank would only finance $108,750. You would have to have $36,650 in your pocket, not to mention closing costs,” he said. “The idea of you giving a young couple a chance to buy a home, or get in a first-time home, I don’t see it. I don’t see where you gain.

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Independence, red marker. Credit: Google.

As Daily Business News readers are already aware, the myths, and the facts surrounding manufactured housing abound. To learn more, including why manufactured housing is the solution hiding in plain sight for many to achieve the American Dream, click here. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

 

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.